Stanisław Kowalski, Polish People's Party, Poland
Stanisław Kowalski, Polish People's Party, Poland


Stanislav Kowalski was born “Stanley Kowalski” in Chicago, Illinois on April 3, 1924, though his family moved to New Orleans shortly thereafter. He grew up in Louisiana during the ascendency of Huey Long, and his family became ardent Longists. While not academically inclined, young Stan became fascinated with politics and power and studied the ideas and origins of his political hero. However, he soon became distracted by the plight of his people suffering under Nazi rule, and at the age of 20 snuck on a freighter bound for Europe in order to join the Home Army, where he served with distinction in carrying out acts of sabotage (though some of his political opponents accused him of engaging in atrocities such as the murdering of German civilians). His activities were largely in association with the Bataliony Chłopskie or “Farmers’ Battalion,” the paramilitary arm of the People’s Party. Despite having lived most of his life in urban New Orleans, Kowalski found himself more in line with the agrarian philosophy of the PSL, which he managed to square with his family’s support of Long.

As the Nazi empire dissolved in 1955, the Home Army stepped up its operations against established authorities, managing to seize control of Krakow and Lvov. Following the triumph of the Wehrmacht junta, the aging Erwin Rommel negotiated an agreement with Home Army leader Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski which allowed for German forces to permanently withdraw from Poland in exchange for access to certain Polish resources. Being devastated after sixteen years of Nazi domination, the reduced and weakened Polish people were in no position to play hardball with the German government, resulting in a nominally independent Polish state.

Based out of Krakow, the Komorowski government’s hold on power was tenuous at best. Poland had been reduced in population significantly, and traditional power and social structures had been effectively eradicated. Other than the Catholic faith, which itself had been persecuted with the enforcement of state paganism, little remained to serve as a common cultural base for the Polish people. The Komorowski government seemed to operate under the assumption that the old order could be reassembled. However, Komorowski’s age coupled with his general reactionary approach to governance bred division within the government. In what amounted a soft coup, a number of his officers, led by Kowalski, pushed the old man out of power in April of 1956. A new constitution was promulgated on May 3, proclaiming a “People’s Republic” written along the outlines of Kowalski’s ideology.


Once in power, Kowalski ruled Poland in a manner not unlike his idol Long, earning him the nickname “The Kingfish of the Vistula.” Ruling with the support of his now renamed Polish People’s Party (PSL), he presented himself as the man who would usher in the “rebirth” of Poland through radical wealth redistribution schemes, military buildup, and infrastructure projects. Land previously worked by Polish slaves under the Nazis was allotted to farmers, creating widespread land “ownership” in a country ruled for centuries under various forms of feudalism. Eighteen months of military service was required for every eligible male between the ages of 16 to 24 as the Home Army transformed into the more conventional Polish People’s Army. Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, was the rebuilding of Warsaw. Inspired by the “Longvilles” built in the United States, Kowalski wanted the rebuilt city to reflect modern architectural and urban planning trends with an emphasis on garden spaces and plazas. His crowning moment of triumph for the new city was when Warsaw hosted the 1976 Olympics, impressing most international guests. During the height of his power, Kowalski had many international admirers, especially in the normally isolationist United States. Kowalski was the guest of several US Presidents, and even spoke at a meeting of the Share Our Wealth Society to talk of the reforms he implemented. His work “Thoughts on the Rebirth of Poland” outlining his political beliefs – known colloquially as “The Green Book” for its iconic green cover – was a bestselling book in many Western countries. There was even an American movie called The People’s Man in 1961 which glorified his career as a resistance fighter and his political reforms.

Much like his idol, Kowalski was also authoritarian and fond of patronage. The redistribution of land actually amounted government ownership of arable land with new “owners” who were required to pay “donations” to Kowalski’s PSL. This also created a stream of steady voters that served as the bulk of Kowalski’s power base. In theory, elections were fair and open, but patronage and occasional violence often kept opposition parties at bay. The fact that he continued to be re-elected with little to no opposition often led his critics to accuse him of being a dictator.

Kowalski also struggled in the arena of foreign diplomacy, especially in asserting Polish independence. In the early years of Kowalski’s rule, he strove to maintain good relations with neighboring Germany so as not to encourage further German intervention. However, he later felt a growing pressure to assert Polish autonomy. He did so by increasing ties with reactionary France as well as Poland’s neighbor and historical ally Hungary. By the late 1970’s, as Germany was convulsed by pro-democracy protests, Kowalski mulled nationalizing German-owned companies. Before he could do so, he suffered a stroke in March 1980, prompting him to later resign under the pretense of having accomplished his goals. He managed to spend the rest of his life in retirement as his successors sought to play on his legacy. Conspiracy theorists maintain that his strokes were a little too convenient, and that he may have been deliberately poisoned by those around him in order to protect Poland from German invasion.

Today, Kowalski’s legacy is still quite positive in Poland, though less so outside as it had been during his rule. Critics have noted Kowalski’s legacy of corruption and authoritarianism being a major hindrance to the development of democratic institutions in the purported “People’s Republic.” Today, the People’s Party still remains in power, though some commentators believe their grip on power to be tenuous at best. Still, many in Poland regard Kowalski as the man responsible for the nation’s rebirth in the wake of Nazi devastation.

 
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Other than the Catholic faith, which itself had been persecuted with the enforcement of state paganism, little remained to serve as a common cultural base for the Polish people.
I protest - this is a stupid and trite cliche! Despite the fact that many Nazis were fond of occultism and pseudoscience, the main body of Nazi leaders were not neopagans. Hitler himself despised such figures, and considered them useful idiots. The maximum of the Nazi program is the reformation and unification of the Germanic churches.
 
I protest - this is a stupid and trite cliche! Despite the fact that many Nazis were fond of occultism and pseudoscience, the main body of Nazi leaders were not neopagans. Hitler himself despised such figures, and considered them useful idiots. The maximum of the Nazi program is the reformation and unification of the Germanic churches.
I mean there's a Nazi successor state filling a North Korea role in Africa, I assumed the Odinists just had much greater sway in TTL's Nazi party.
 
I protest - this is a stupid and trite cliche! Despite the fact that many Nazis were fond of occultism and pseudoscience, the main body of Nazi leaders were not neopagans. Hitler himself despised such figures, and considered them useful idiots. The maximum of the Nazi program is the reformation and unification of the Germanic churches.
I mean, maybe don't roast so hard... But I see your point with regards to realism. I know Hitler wasn't all too fond of newer forms of occultism like the Thule Society, and I have seen no evidence of Hitler supporting a revival of Germanic Polytheism (though he did view it as useful), but there were other Nazis in power after Hitler ITTL, so I assume they were the big propagators of Deutsche Glaubensbewegung. Also, didn't the SS use/imitate some Germanic Pagan rituals, that might be part of it...?
 
Did I spend most of my afternoon reading through this in its entirety instead of writing? Why yes, I did do that.
Do I regret that? Not in the slightest.

This is great, keep up the good work. Definitely watched.
 
I protest - this is a stupid and trite cliche! Despite the fact that many Nazis were fond of occultism and pseudoscience, the main body of Nazi leaders were not neopagans. Hitler himself despised such figures, and considered them useful idiots. The maximum of the Nazi program is the reformation and unification of the Germanic churches.
I mean, maybe don't roast so hard... But I see your point with regards to realism. I know Hitler wasn't all too fond of newer forms of occultism like the Thule Society, and I have seen no evidence of Hitler supporting a revival of Germanic Polytheism (though he did view it as useful), but there were other Nazis in power after Hitler ITTL, so I assume they were the big propagators of Deutsche Glaubensbewegung. Also, didn't the SS use/imitate some Germanic Pagan rituals, that might be part of it...?
Here's the thing: the State Paganism in this world is closer to a "civic religion" than an actually followed faith outside of the SS. @WotanArgead is right about Nazi Germany's attempt to consolidate the Protestant churches, but even then I don't think the Reichskirche would have been anything more than a Nazi front as a token church not unlike the Three-Self Movement in OTL China. The problem with Christianity from a Nazi perspective is that it is ultimately too Jewish: not just the Old Testament, but also sections of the New Testament such as the book of James, which some scholars believe to have an especially Jewish character in its theology. Furthermore, Christianity teaches things like "love your neighbor" and "turn the other cheek," ideals that the Nazi regime would not have wanted to inculcate in their people. Given how many Catholic and non-compliant Protestants were persecuted IOTL, I can't help but think that the Nazi establishment was moving towards some kind of post-Christian civic religion with some vague pagan veneer. Would average Germans be required to make proper obeisance to Odin? No. But I could see Christianity being either defanged or persecuted so that Germans would not be tempted towards another God other than the Fuhrer.

Namibia, on the other hand, is actually run by SS fanatics, who do want to revive a more literal neo-paganism. As Himmler descends further than the rabbit hole of his own ideology, he seeks to "reconstruct" Germanic paganism in honor of the old gods, with worship sites being constructed over all of Namibia. Christianity, along with other religions, is completely outlawed within the Reich-in-Exile.


Did I spend most of my afternoon reading through this in its entirety instead of writing? Why yes, I did do that.
Do I regret that? Not in the slightest.

This is great, keep up the good work. Definitely watched.
Thank you very much indeed. Creative projects like these are keeping me sane, and comments like these help a lot.
 
The problem with Christianity from a Nazi perspective is that it is ultimately too Jewish: not just the Old Testament, but also sections of the New Testament such as the book of James, which some scholars believe to have an especially Jewish character in its theology. Furthermore, Christianity teaches things like "love your neighbor" and "turn the other cheek," ideals that the Nazi regime would not have wanted to inculcate in their people.
Nevertheless, Christian churches violated these rules many times, for other principles or benefits. Thus, during the Age of Great Geographical Discoveries, the Catholic Church denied the Negroes the presence of a soul when a need for slave power appeared. In protest countries, the idea of Praeadamitae was popular, which included the indigenous peoples of various continents, and which therefore are not equal to Europeans. There is nothing to say about Christian anti-Semitism, it is enough to say that nationalist organizations of the Kaiser era conveniently combined Protestantism, with anti-Semitism and imperialist manners.
 
Nevertheless, Christian churches violated these rules many times, for other principles or benefits. Thus, during the Age of Great Geographical Discoveries, the Catholic Church denied the Negroes the presence of a soul when a need for slave power appeared. In protest countries, the idea of Praeadamitae was popular, which included the indigenous peoples of various continents, and which therefore are not equal to Europeans. There is nothing to say about Christian anti-Semitism, it is enough to say that nationalist organizations of the Kaiser era conveniently combined Protestantism, with anti-Semitism and imperialist manners.
None of those I deny nor contest. However, in the case of Nazi Germany, from what I understand, I can’t help but think that Christianity would eventually be phased out given enough time. It does not mean that all, or even most pagans were or are anti-semites. This is just what I think Nazi Germany would eventually become had it won the war. “Paganism” as believed by the SS was more of an ideological, civic religion more so than an actually believed one, as far as I know.
 
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